Beijing introduces smoking ban in time for World No Tobacco Day
The ban, which makes it illegal for people to smoke in enclosed spaces like bars, restaurants and offices will mean a great improvement to people’s health.
Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) hosts World No Tobacco Day to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use.
According to WHO, approximately one person dies every six seconds from tobacco use; around six million people a year. 600,000 of those deaths are caused by passive, or second hand smoking.
The WHO estimates that if global tobacco consumption is not immediately and swiftly reduced, the annual death toll could rise to eight million by 2030.
Director of the Respiratory Division at The George Institute for Global Health Australia, Professor Christine Jenkins, has welcomed the ban saying that it will greatly reduce the dangers of second hand smoke in the Beijing population.
“Smoking remains one of the biggest preventable global health threats for the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s).
“In China, the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is closely associated with the prevalence of smoking and second hand smoking in the general population.
“The smoking ban in Beijing is a great initiative that could really help reduce preventable diseases associated with smoking.”
COPD is the fourth most common cause of death worldwide, mostly due to cigarette smoking. If current trends continue, COPD is likely to become one of the top three common causes of death by 2020.
The George Institute for Global Health, China, is currently conducting research looking at a novel combination of two affordable oral medications, each given at low doses, to reduce adverse effects and enhance efficacy of treatments.
“The study is about trying to find affordable therapies to control symptoms of COPD, and reduce exacerbations that often result in hospitalisations or death.
“However, the best course of treatment is prevention. Not taking up smoking and avoiding second hand smoke greatly reduces your chances of developing COPD.”
To find out more about the harmful effects of tobacco, click here